LITHIA SPRINGS, GA --A simple act of kindness inside a Georgia Walmart is tugging at the heartstrings of people around the country.
Myrna Kines had just finished shopping at her Walmart in Lithia Springs when she stepped outside and saw a worker remove the shoes off his feet and give them to a homeless man.
Kines couldn't believe what she had just witnessed and needed verbal confirmation. She asked the homeless man about the charitable act and then she went back inside the store to meet the barefoot employee.
"I said 'Can I take your picture?' and he said 'Why?' and I said 'Because you deserve recognition for what you just did,'" Kines said. "'You did something awesome.'"
Kines posted the photo of the smiling young man, later identified as Phil Powell, wearing his yellow Walmart vest and pink socks on her Facebook page. She was so touched by his selfless act that she also contacted the store's manager, Mike Kastensmidt, when she got home.
"He said he would go find him and speak with him," said Kines.
Kastensmidt shared the photo on his Facebook page and added another touching layer to the story.
Powell told Kastensmidt he knew what it felt like to walk a mile in the homeless man's shoes since he had once been homeless. The Walmart manager then took his barefoot employee to the store's shoe department and offered him any pair of shoes he wanted free of charge.
"He chose a $13 pair of slippers," Kastensmidt wrote in his post. "That's all he 'needed.' I learned a lesson from this selfless act today."
Powell's mother, Brenda Patterson, also has reached out to Kines on Facebook.
"Brenda said the shoes Phil had on were pink Converse," said Kines. "He had those shoes because his grandmother had breast cancer. He also had on pink socks which you can see in the photo."
Kines also offered to replace the shoes, but his mother said her son was okay. Phil's mom thanked Kines for letting the world know her son has "a heart of gold."
"I told her that she had to take some of the credit because she has raised him into a fine giving and caring person," said Kines.